2022/23 VC Owner thread

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Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,464
Woolwich nj
So now that everyone is talking about it, what STT does everyone run at? I like to keep my little Intrepid 500-650. 650 being the highest that I like to see it. I had it around 650 lest night and I will say that it was kicking off some good heat, but it didn't last for long because I didn't have much wood in. The manual doesn't give a range and the installers just said "Don't let the pipe get red hot" and left.

There is no actual temp that the stove gets run. You dont wat to exceed the recommended hi temperature from the manual. The stove gets run to the heat needs. In the winter when its cold and the house temp is down I will run it hother say 550/600. Right now my stove is on and I have the cat engaged and the STT is only 450 and will probably get turned back to 375/400.. I get my stove to operating temperature and get the cat engaged.. then go from there.. I like to burn long with an even heat that's not over powering the house making it to hot. The benefits of a cat stove is being able to reduce heat output, extended burn times.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,464
Woolwich nj
Right now, non active flame.. the flame.is above the wood and dancing in the box..

20221004_161912.jpg 20221004_161935.jpg
 

t0asty

New Member
Oct 12, 2021
64
NJ
I like to burn long with an even heat that's not over powering the house making it to hot. The benefits of a cat stove is being able to reduce heat output, extended burn times.
I like to operate the same way. Especially if I have had the stove hot since 5:30am like today. The part of my house that the stove is in is older with lower ceilings and it can get uncomfortably hot if I have it operating at higher temps for extended period of time. I also have central air and turning only the fan on to circulate air even for a very short period of time makes a huge difference in distributing the heat.
 

bert670

Member
Mar 19, 2021
49
Hudson Valley, NY
Quick question in regards to stove cleaning my VC Dauntless (may be similar to other VC stoves). Behind the cat box, there is a low area where the soot/creosote from my flue cleaning landed. I was able to get some of it out, but there may still be a cup or two worth of the fine black dust in that area that is near impossible to reach with my vaccum or hands. Will this cause any issues when I start burning? I just want to make sure if it burns it won’t cause any issues.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,464
Woolwich nj
Quick question in regards to stove cleaning my VC Dauntless (may be similar to other VC stoves). Behind the cat box, there is a low area where the soot/creosote from my flue cleaning landed. I was able to get some of it out, but there may still be a cup or two worth of the fine black dust in that area that is near impossible to reach with my vaccum or hands. Will this cause any issues when I start burning? I just want to make sure if it burns it won’t cause any issues.

Id clean it out. My stove is similar and i can get my mini vacuum in there and clean it out. You want as much room in there for the air to move through. Im using like a 2 gallon shop vac it has like a 1 inch hose
 

Jmorg

Member
Feb 26, 2021
92
Richmond, Va
Quick question in regards to stove cleaning my VC Dauntless (may be similar to other VC stoves). Behind the cat box, there is a low area where the soot/creosote from my flue cleaning landed. I was able to get some of it out, but there may still be a cup or two worth of the fine black dust in that area that is near impossible to reach with my vaccum or hands. Will this cause any issues when I start burning? I just want to make sure if it burns it won’t cause any issues.
I just got an adapter for my shop vac and then 2 different step down sizes of hose so that I could get in that small space back there. Like a 1” to 1/2”…works well and pretty cheap

9C5199E0-5519-478B-806A-373259A24263.jpeg
 

Kevin Weis

Minister of Fire
Mar 3, 2018
1,041
Union Bridge, Md
Have the same concerns with my Intrepid. Did the same as Jmorg. You would be surprised how much collects back there in those passages. Remember some of that air needs to get to the front through passages along the bottom of the stove. It appears the Dauntless airflow setup is the same as the Intrepid but maybe not. The airflow on the Intrepid is not shown in the manual or anywhere that I could find. Maybe the specifics of it are proprietary but all one would need to do is a teardown to figure it out.
 

JimmyMA

New Member
Jul 19, 2022
6
Massachusetts
Happy to be joining this thread. Just put in an Encore 2040 with the cat and I got an Auber AT-100 with the K-type probe. For those of you who installed a digital probe, how did you secure it in the back of the stove? Mine already has the standard cat temp probe that came with the stove and is secured in the back with a bracket. When I replace it with the Auber probe, it sits very loosely in the hole. I can't use the existing bracket because it sits at a right angle to the probe. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

JohnDaileyNH

New Member
Oct 10, 2022
54
Seacoast, NH
Hey everyone, new to using a wood stove. Just got an Encore 2040 Cat. Still messing around but I keep having a common trend of the house getting incredibly hot and burn times not being all that long. About 99% sure this is user error, but it is getting better

Doing some research it seems as if a cat thermometer is needed to help learn the cat temps and be able to extend burn times without making my house a sauna. I never had the factory one installed because the back of the stove sits in a fireplace and I can't see it. Assuming digital is the option here
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,464
Woolwich nj
Happy to be joining this thread. Just put in an Encore 2040 with the cat and I got an Auber AT-100 with the K-type probe. For those of you who installed a digital probe, how did you secure it in the back of the stove? Mine already has the standard cat temp probe that came with the stove and is secured in the back with a bracket. When I replace it with the Auber probe, it sits very loosely in the hole. I can't use the existing bracket because it sits at a right angle to the probe. Any advice would be appreciated.

its hard to see but what i did is zip tie it to the original bi mettle bracket.. yes.. the zip tie will not melt

20221010_171700.jpg
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,464
Woolwich nj
Hey everyone, new to using a wood stove. Just got an Encore 2040 Cat. Still messing around but I keep having a common trend of the house getting incredibly hot and burn times not being all that long. About 99% sure this is user error, but it is getting better

Doing some research it seems as if a cat thermometer is needed to help learn the cat temps and be able to extend burn times without making my house a sauna. I never had the factory one installed because the back of the stove sits in a fireplace and I can't see it. Assuming digital is the option here
so the at 100 is the way to go. it has a 6ft cord so you'll be able to see it from outside of the fireplace. Once the cat is engaged and up to a good temperature like 1000 degrees.. are you turning the air back half or most of the way.. I have the 2040, mine is a little different but routinely get 10 to 12 hours burn time with my longest being 16 hours..
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
714
Central MA
Has anyone purchased a Condar replacement cat for the Encore 2in1? I just received mine and it is 1/4" too long. Doesn't fit. Sure enough, the new one measures 13" as advertised but the old one is only 12.75". Shame on me for not measuring more carefully. Condar says they do not make a 12.75" cat but they list this one as being compatible with my stove. What gives?

20221011_061737_HDR.jpg
 

GrumpyDad

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2022
562
Champion, PA
Hey everyone, new to using a wood stove. Just got an Encore 2040 Cat. Still messing around but I keep having a common trend of the house getting incredibly hot and burn times not being all that long. About 99% sure this is user error, but it is getting better

Doing some research it seems as if a cat thermometer is needed to help learn the cat temps and be able to extend burn times without making my house a sauna. I never had the factory one installed because the back of the stove sits in a fireplace and I can't see it. Assuming digital is the option here

When im bringing wood into the indoor pile which houses about 1/6th of a face cord, I try to pick pieces for the fireplace and the wood stove. For the fireplace, I like medium splits. Too large and they just kinda smolder but they do help to create a nice bed of consistent coals. What works best for me is medium splits or small small splits to get the flames going. Those flames plus the entire fireplace being lined in some sort of steel really kicks the hit into the room. Sometimes I place a couple small/mediums splits against the back wall vertical to kick up the fire. If the room is warm enough, a couple of medium splits does fine to keep the fire going.
^I really do not discriminate which wood I burn in the fireplace other than heavier = slower, lighter = faster.

The stove is a different animal all together. If I have mostly a thick bed of coals and the glowing remnants of a few medium to larger splits that have broken up into large chunks, if I had the air control above midway I would probably be able to get the stove over 650! If I load up the stove mid way with medium splits (4" square - ish), so thats like maybe 4 splits - let the stove burn on hot for a bit then throttle down to 3rd from lowest (which is a pain to find to I go all the way to low then back up 3), I get a nice even medium/low heat (depending on the wood!). Pine, it would be hotter, flame more - oak it would just slowly roast.

I am by NO means an expert, but I can take an almost empty 600 degree stove and then load up 5" splits, about six of them - let the stove cook that wood on high for a bit, then lower it down almost completely - let that burn for an hour or so then just fill the rest of the box up with whatever, close it down to level 3 and it will burn overnight for me. At 5 clicks, there isnt much left in the morning to start back up.

So I think ALOT of it is playing with the wood, YOUR draft, in YOUR setup - that nobody is going to be able to tell you precisely how to achieve what you want other than general guidance. Take notes, I know it sounds stupid and people may think it's funny that you are being that analytical but honestly, it's kinda fun. I did a simple tally of S/M/L pieces loaded in the fireplace vs the stove. Loaded at the same time in the morning each, the stove needed loaded about 4 times from morning until bedtime. And alot of that was me just adding a few - 4 medium pieces to see flame and to have more control over the heat output. The stove used 4 times less wood than the fireplace and the fireplace wasnt putting out nearly the same heat. To put out the same heat it would have been a horrendous amount of wood required in the fireplace. See that stuff is cool to me.

Oh I should also mention, I find (and it's just me maybe) that if I load my stove only half way, I have more control over it. I have had occasions when Im like GEESH it's hot and the stove seems to be much higher than expected, then I remember I tossed in some 'light' pieces, likely some really dry pine. So with a low-medium filled box I feel like I have the option for low heat > high heat fairly quickly if I want.

Im still experimenting, and getting frustrated at times because some things just dont make sense to me. LIke why in the world do catalysts work :)

I do not have a catalyst, have no plans on getting one for awhile. I want to see what this stove does before and after, and have some data to back it. I will probably go as far as measuring MC of every piece of wood, species and size plus air control, outside air temps etc...if for any reason for my own sake. It wont be super scientific of course, but precise enough for me to come to conclusions.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,464
Woolwich nj
Has anyone purchased a Condar replacement cat for the Encore 2in1? I just received mine and it is 1/4" too long. Doesn't fit. Sure enough, the new one measures 13" as advertised but the old one is only 12.75". Shame on me for not measuring more carefully. Condar says they do not make a 12.75" cat but they list this one as being compatible with my stove. What gives?

View attachment 300345

go to applied ceramics.. they are the ones who actually make the catalyst.. info attached.. you can buy directly from them

Screenshot_20221011-165305_Chrome.jpg 20221011_164950.jpg
 

GrumpyDad

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2022
562
Champion, PA
go to applied ceramics.. they are the ones who actually make the catalyst.. info attached.. you can buy directly from them

View attachment 300356 View attachment 300357
Why would one purchase from them vs stove company? Is it cheaper or better? I'm interested in getting a catalyst at some point but would need the kit from VC anyway apparently as there is some sort of mounting bracket to hold a thermocouple
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,464
Woolwich nj
Why would one purchase from them vs stove company? Is it cheaper or better? I'm interested in getting a catalyst at some point but would need the kit from VC anyway apparently as there is some sort of mounting bracket to hold a thermocouple

just like with any company.. not all parts are made in house. My stove originally came from the factory with the firecat combuster. its not an actual VC part. I can get the same combuster from the actual manufacturer cheaper and faster.. below is a screenshot of the part and cost off the vc website.. the combuster is sold for 344... I purchased 2 combusters, one as a replacement and 1 as a spare and I believe I paid 125 each.. I also purchased the steel cat to see how that worked...

Screenshot_20221012-052646_Chrome.jpg
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
714
Central MA
Condar got back to me and said they will make one the right size. Let's see how they do. So far I'm impressed with their customer support and I will be even more impressed if the replacement fits.
 

GrumpyDad

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2022
562
Champion, PA
Condar got back to me and said they will make one the right size. Let's see how they do. So far I'm impressed with their customer support and I will be even more impressed if the replacement fits.
?
So why do that list that one as working....
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
714
Central MA
?
So why do that list that one as working....
I'm not really sure. The VC parts list actually says the catalyst should be 12.75", and condar says 13" but lists the stove as a compatible model.

When I described the issue to them they initially seemed to think my stove was a Dauntless and said they don't sell cats for that. I sent them the photo of the stove nameplate showing that it is in fact an Encore, although it is the newer encore design... and for some reason that seemed to change their tune so now they are supporting the compatibility claim by making it the right size.

I am not sure why nobody else has had trouble with the fit though.
 

GrumpyDad

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2022
562
Champion, PA
I'm not really sure. The VC parts list actually says the catalyst should be 12.75", and condar says 13" but lists the stove as a compatible model.

When I described the issue to them they initially seemed to think my stove was a Dauntless and said they don't sell cats for that. I sent them the photo of the stove nameplate showing that it is in fact an Encore, although it is the newer encore design... and for some reason that seemed to change their tune so now they are supporting the compatibility claim by making it the right size.

I am not sure why nobody else has had trouble with the fit though.
Well who has that stove and runs it with a cat and knows about that site and buys cats from them? Probably not a lot or the customers are cramming it in somehow or returning without explanation. Kinda like me driving into my residential area and the powers out, apparently for hours. No one called the power company. They had no idea there was an issue until someone notified them.
 

Lorde

New Member
Sep 27, 2022
2
New England
just like with any company.. not all parts are made in house. My stove originally came from the factory with the firecat combuster. its not an actual VC part. I can get the same combuster from the actual manufacturer cheaper and faster.. below is a screenshot of the part and cost off the vc website.. the combuster is sold for 344... I purchased 2 combusters, one as a replacement and 1 as a spare and I believe I paid 125 each.. I also purchased the steel cat to see how that worked...

View attachment 300401
Have you run the steel cat yet? Curious how it performs. Thanks
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,464
Woolwich nj
Have you run the steel cat yet? Curious how it performs. Thanks

I ran the steel cat in the winter of 21 a few days.. It ran differently.. I took it out and put the ceramic cat back in.. I ran it last year from the beginning of January to may.. It runs differently but not incorrectly.. I found that the cat lights off quicker and easier. The cat will stop running a little quicker then the ceramic version. I ran it all winter basically, there was no more or less soot in the stack, no creosote. so now I like it. sometimes I think we see something run a little different and assume its not running well and that is why I originally pulled it in 21. Its overall a better cat, it doesn't get brittle or cells crack, it hasn't taken off on me once.. it likes to run at 1000 to 1150 and 1250 at the highest. it burns clean..
 
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